'Happy' Barcelona star: Liverpool 'must always' be in Champions League

Versatile defensive-minded player is pleased for the entire Liverpool roster, claiming they are a club who belong in the biggest competitions.

'They are a very good side and I am very happy for the lads because I still have some friends at the club like Steven Gerrard and Lucas [Leiva],' Barcelona star Javier Mascherano, a two-time finalist in the Champions League - once with his current club and once with his former - said of Premier League title-challenging Liverpool to the Mirror recently.

In the past month, the Reds were regarded to be dark horses in the competition, however, as time has progressed and each passing match-day yields a positive result for Brendan Rodgers' side, the club are now touted as a side impossible to discount in what is now a four horse race for the league crown.

With 56 points collected from 27 games, Liverpool are just four points adrift from pace-setting Chelsea, while six points clear from Tottenham Hotspur in fifth place.

For Mascherano, this only spells good news for the present and the future of the Anfield side. The versatile defensive-minded player continued: 'So what is happening now is not only good for the club but good for them, too.

'They have been there a long time and deserve this. I enjoyed my time there. Liverpool are a top club and must always be in the top four of the Premier League. Always.

'I think they will finish in the top four this season. I have seen a lot of their games and I am very impressed with the way they are playing.'

image: © jamesmoore

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch